Sunday, March 29, 2009

Landry Tomb Ascension Parish




The Landry Tomb according to the Historic Places Database, was placed on the Historic Register on 8/11/1982. It is located in Ascension Parish, Louisiana in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. It is also called the Ascension Catholic Church Cemetery, which is located near the corner of St. Vincent and Claiborne Streets. :

The Landry Tomb (1845), an extremely monumental above ground multiple burial vault, is located in a small town cemetery. Since it was built and filled, it has undergone no changes aside from the gradual growth of vines. Hence there is absolutely no integrity problem.

The tomb is a two stage monument constructed of ashlar granite. Set on a heavy base, the lower stage contains the square tomb space, which has 2 severely cut Doric pilasters on each face and a massive diagonally set pier on each corner. Each pier is surmounted by an urn. The second stage is a granite cube with a 4 pilaster temple front on each face. The walls spread markedly towards the base, which indicates a desire to combine Egyptian characteristics with this essentially neo-classical monument.

The tomb is entered on the north side by means of a bronze door and a granite stoop.
Specific dates 1845 - Builder/Architect attributed to James Dakin, Architect

The Landry Tomb is significant on the state level in the area of architecture as one of the most outstanding extant examples of antebellum Louisiana funerary architecture. Louisiana is known for its large elaborately designed tombs, but virtually all of the more impressive ones date from the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. Prior to the Civil War the finest Classical Revival tombs tended to be sarcophagi (sometimes double sarcophagi) with a pediment at each end and a set of corner pilasters. The Landry Tomb is far more pretentious than this. Its two stage design with four massive corner piers, urns, and a pavilion top which presents a full pedimented portico on each side represents a much bolder and more ambitious approach to funerary architecture than was common at the time.

The Landry Tomb was built in 1845 and is attributed to James Dakin by his biographer,
Arthur Scully, Jr. Scully's conclusion that the tomb was "in all likelihood" designed by Dakin is based upon the architectural evidence and a drawing in Dakin's collection of a building which strongly resembles the tomb.

There are 24 vaults in the Landry Tomb. One of the individuals buried there is the one to whom it is dedicated, Joseph Landry, who died in 1814 and was moved into the present tomb in 1845.


Major Bibliographical References
Scully, Arthur, Jr. James Dakin, Architect. LSU Press, 1973.

Ascension Parish was formed in 1807. You can view a map of all of the parishes in Louisiana here. Donaldsonville is also known as "the second Acadian coast." You can visit the Ascension Parish library online and learn more.

Ascension Heritage Association (ASHA)
P.O. Box 404
Donaldsonville, LA 70346
Contact: Barbara Ourso Board Member (225)473-7371 (225)746-9627 :
Contact: Pam Gregoire President (225)473-8285
Cultural organization involved with efforts to retain the historic homes, businesses, and churches
of Donaldsonville, along with beautification projects. Eligibility: none Dues: $10 per year.
Meet: 2nd Wednesday of each month at noon.

East Ascension Genealogical and Historical Society
P.O. Box 1006
Gonzales, LA 70707-1006
Contact: David Powers (225)644-1869 dpowers@eatel.net
Genealogical research. EAGHS Library location: 13324 Etienne Road Gonzales, LA
70737. Library hours: Tuesdays - 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Workshops: Tuesdays at 6:00
p.m. EAGHS Library

Los IsleƱos de Galvez Heritage & Cultural Society
7437 Meadowbrook Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70810-2014
Contact: Dennis Delaney (601)798-8384
Contact: Deanna Carbo (225)769-9456 tippilou2@aol.com
Descendants of the Canary Islands; promotes history, culture, and genealogy of the people of the
area and across the world. Educational focus.

New River Rangers U.D.C., Chapter 2514
38356 Hwy. 74
Gonzales, LA 70737
Contact: Ruth Hanson, President (225)673-8434
War veterans, history, education, genealogy and field trips.

River Road African American Museum & Gallery
P.O. Box 266
Donaldsonville, LA 70346
www.africanamericanmuseum.org
aamuseum@bellsouth.net
Contact: Kathe Hambrick Museum Director (225)474-5553 aamuseum@bellsouth.net
Physical Address: 406 Charles, Donaldsonville, LA 70346
Museum dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and collection of African and African American art and artifacts as it relates to the River Parish communities. Offer storytelling, research, artist workshops and performances, and historical exhibits. Tours available. $4.00 admission. Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.;
Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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